DOTW: Custer State Park, South Dakota

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-22-2003
DOTW: Custer State Park, South Dakota
Tue, 03-23-2004 - 1:41pm

Custer State Park in the Black Hills encompasses 71,000 acres of spectacular terrain and an abundance of wildlife.
Within the park, you’ll discover a world of adventure!

Favorite outdoor activities include hiking 7,242-foot Harney Peak, mountain biking, horseback riding, rock climbing, fishing, chuckwagon suppers and jeep rides to see the bison.

The park boasts scenic drives such as the Needles Highway (SD 87), which twists and turns its way past towering rock formations and through narrow tunnels. At the end of one tunnel stands the Needles Eye, a granite spire with a slit only 3 to 4 feet wide but reaching 30 to 40 feet in the air.

History and culture also abound. Walk the banks of French Creek, where Custer’s expedition first discovered gold in 1874. Take in a theater performance at the Black Hills Playhouse. Or, visit the log cabin that was home to Badger Clark, South Dakota’s first poet laureate.

Custer State Park can serve as the headquarters for your Black Hills stay. You’ll find Resorts at Sylvan Lake, Legion Lake, Blue Bell and the State Game Lodge, all located within the park. Each resort has its own flavor, ranging from the stately Game Lodge, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, to the mini dude ranch at Blue Bell. (See Black Hills section and Statewide Services Directory for details.)

Custer State Park campgrounds offer a variety of scenic sites. Set up camp along a flowing stream, in the midst of pine forest, or near a mountain lake. The choice is yours! Camping fees range from $13-18 per unit. None have hookups. For reservations, call 1-800-710-CAMP (2267) or go online to

Custer State Park does not have the basic one-room camping cabins that are available in some of the other state parks.


Community Leader
Registered: 12-16-2003
Thu, 03-25-2004 - 10:30pm
This is one of the best places on the planet! I have been there 6 times, and that is a haul from Chicagoland! It is so great, there is a lake for swimming. the wildlife is unbelievable! The chuckwagon ride is fun and the horseback rinding trail is very scenic. It is in th middle of everything, close to Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Deadwood, Lead, Custer are fun towns. Wind and Jewel Caves are part of the National Park system and offer great tours. Even Devils Tower National Monunment is a days drive but worth camping for a night at. It too is an awesome site, the campground is a bit bare though. We like to stop at Hot Springs and go to the Mammoth Site, that is jsut facinating. If you ever get a chance to go, take it! There is more to do, but I can't think of it now.

Ramona  Mom to 2 great kids and wife to one wonderful hubby since 1990!